Meet musician Vincent Raffard

📸 Photo provided by Vincent Raffard

Hi, Vincent! Tell us a bit about your talents.

I am a multi-instrumentalist, with a penchant for the cornet, trumpet, and guitar. I’m also a composer, singer/songwriter, and the founder of the French Horn Collective — a protean gypsy-jazz/world-music outfit. Born in Paris, I’ve been living in Miami since 2007, and I love it!

What neighborhood(s) are you reppin’?

Shorecrest, just east of El Portal. Near the Little River.

What brings you most alive about the 305?

What drives me in the 305 is the musical multi-culturalism. This unique diversity is what inspires me — notably, it’s the Cuban, Haitian, Venezuelan, and other South American influences that keep me going. And then, the dynamics of the Miami metropolis. Also, I must add — American folk-music, too.

What’s your favorite Miami memory?

My most recent favorite memory in Miami is the concert that my band and I performed at the Carnaval on the Mile. We had just been booked for Saturday night, and there was a Puerto Rican group before us that had galvanized the crowd. So, the bar was set high. Yet, as we performed my original French music, with the collaboration of my fantastic singers — Wendell Morrison, Shira Lee, and Fabi Patino — and my talented musicians, we were able to captivate the audience to an utmost level of dancing energy that I hadn’t seen in Miami in a long time.

If you could eat only one meal from a local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be?

My favorite meal — if I had only one choice — would be the eponymous Wabi Sabi Bowl. It is a combination of salmon, crab, tuna, beans, and veggies mixed with green-tea noodles and ginger-sauce. Just delicious!

With Wabi Sabi Bowl in hand (or belly), how else would you spend a perfect Miami day?

After 15 years in Miami, I’m still amazed by the way, as a resident, if you pay close attention — you can discover a whole diversity of neighborhoods. From Vizcaya to the Old Coconut Grove, crossing into Old Cutler, and coming back through downtown to the new Wynwood art district.

What’s your favorite local social media account and why?

The social media account that I enjoy following for fun and entertainment is @OnlyinDade. It still amuses me to this day!

If you could give any one piece of advice to locals, what would it be?

It’s simple: BE. OUTDOORS. MORE. And enjoy the tropical light in South Florida. There’s an inimitable light in Miami, the golden light — way before the sunset, just at the end of the afternoon. You can only find it here. It’s a great time of day to be creative, too. Personally, it’s my favorite time to write a song and walk my dogs.

How does Miami help you do what you do or influence your work?

Miami helps my work by introducing me to fellow musicians that I love to create with. I like mixing my original ideas with the panorama of talent of Miami. And this city has truly changed my life and propelled my dream of making a living as a musician.

If there was one thing you could change, address, etc. about Miami, what would it be?

I would love to encourage residents to drive less and bike more. Let’s get together and discuss ideas to create safer bike-lanes and to educate drivers to cultivate a sense of responsibility and civility on sharing our city’s roads.

What are you looking forward to in 2023?

For the rest of this year, I would love to continue nurturing the cultural pedigree of this fascinating city. I want to represent Miami through my music and in all its beautiful diversity that I can carry. Ultimately, I want to expand my band and travel extensively enough to show the world a sound that is not French, Latin, or American — it is just Miami.

That’s a wrap on this week’s Locals to Know. Know someone who ought to be featured or would like to be featured yourself? Reach out by sending an email to [email protected] with the subject line “TNT Locals to Know 2023.” If chosen, you might just see yourself or a friend in a future newsletter.